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Volume 31, Issue 2

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018 14:43

New ISO standards for greener machine tools

When the topic of energy efficiency comes up, energy-efficient machine tools don’t immediately spring to mind. Yet machine tools contain motors and auxiliary components whose energy demand varies widely during machining operations. Happily, a new series of ISO standards can help measure energy supplied and improve machine design and performance.

Machine tools are complex power-driven industrial devices employed to manufacture ready-for-use parts or semi-finished products. Encompassing a whole array of tools for cutting and forming metal, wood and plastics, and all their accessories, machine tools are used by companies in a variety of sectors like the automotive industry, general machinery, precision engineering, the medical sector, transport, aerospace, and dies and mould.

Machine tools obviously use different forms of energy, such as electrical energy, compressed air, hydraulic energy, energy hidden in the cooling and lubrication system, etc. Therefore, the energy demand of a machine tool is considered as key data for investment, but does not stand alone. The performance of a machine tool is multidimensional regarding its economic value, its technical specification and its operating requirements, which are influenced by the specific application. Hence why the ecological footprint is a common challenge for all these products and, as natural resources become scarce, environmental performance criteria for machine tools need to be defined and the use of these criteria specified.

ISO has recently published the first two parts of a new International Standard for the environmental evaluation of machine tools, which proposes to analyse machine tools with regard to the delivered functions in order to highlight the commonalities in the huge variety of existing machine tool types.

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https://www.iso.org/news/ref2262.html